Network Contract DES Specification 2020 / 2021 – key dates for CCGs

The new Network Contract DES Specification contains important key dates for practices, PCNs and commissioners.  Those of particular relevance for CCGs are:


From April 2020

  • Commissioner to continue to manage extended hours access and social prescribing link worker services provided by PCNs
  • Section 7.1 / 7.5

May 2020

  • NHS letter of 1 May called on CCGs to work with practices and community services providers to organise themselves and take immediate steps to implement enhanced support for care home residents as part of the COVID-19 response, the model to then be adapted from 1 October 2020 to support the DES Enhanced Health in Care Homes specification
  • Not part of DES but related to it.

Prior to 31 May 2020

  • PCNs to notify commissioner of proposed changes to their PCN (such as changes to the nominated payee, membership, network area or clinical director) or confirm that there will be no changes
  • Practices wishing to form a new PCN must apply to commissioner
  • New practices or existing practices who have not formerly been in a PCN must notify commissioner if they are joining a PCN
  • Practices wishing to opt-out of the DES must notify commissioner
  • A practice who has been unable to identify a PCN willing to accept them as a core network practice must notify the commissioner
  • A practice choosing to end its participation in the Network Contract DES must notify the commissioner.
  • Section 4.4 / 4.5 / 4.6 / 4.8 / 4.9 / 4.14

By 12 June 2020

  • Commissioner must complete the PCN ODS Change Instruction Notice, to indicate any changes to a PCN’s membership and/or Nominated Payee or to indicate the details of a new PCN
  • Section 4.5.5 / 4.6.3 / 4.8.5

On or before 30 June 2020

  • Commissioner must notify a PCN of its decision (after following required process of engagement with LMC) to require that PCN to accept a practice as a Core Network Practice of that PCN
  • Section 4.9.5

By 31 July 2020 [NB: See May 2020 above – this work is expected to commence earlier, although outside the formal scope of the DES]

  • Commissioner and PCN agree (or the commissioner allocates if agreement not reached) the care homes for which the PCN will have responsibility (referred to as the “PCN’s Aligned Care Homes”)
  • Section 7.3.1

From 1 August 2020

  • Commissioner to arrange for care home premium to be paid
  • Section 9.7.3

By 31 August 2020

  • PCNs must submit a workforce plan providing details of additional roles recruitment plans for 2020/2021 and indicative plans through to 2023/2024
  • Section 6.5.1

From 1 September 2020

  • Commissioner to explore ways of supporting PCNs to implement workforce plans and endeavour to procure ICS involvement
  • Section 6.5.2

By 30 September 2020

  • Commissioner is to use reasonable endeavours to facilitate the agreement of arrangements between local community services provider(s) and PCNs by this date – note that date for arrangements to be finalised with community mental health providers and community pharmacy is 31 March 2021.
  • Section 5.7.3

By 30 September 2020

  • Commissioner must have shared and then agreed with PCNs and relevant LMCs an estimation of the amount of financial entitlements under the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme that a PCN is unlikely to claim by 31 March 2021 (referred to as the “Unclaimed Funding”)
  • Section 6.5.3

From 1 October 2020

  • Commissioner to decide whether Unclaimed Funding to be opened up for bidding and to indicate when and how PCNs may bid for Unclaimed Funding
  • Section 6.5.5 / 6.5.6

From 1 October 2020

  • Commissioner to manage formal commencement of Enhanced Health in Care Homes, Early Cancer Diagnosis and Structured Medication Review specifications by PCNs
  • Section 7.3.4 / 7.4 / 7.2


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